Hundreds of residents have received help with everything from food to bills and financial relief through East Devon District Council (EDDC).
EDDC is working around the clock to help struggling residents on low income in this time of continuing crisis.
The authority has paid out more than £80,000 in the last three months alone, helping 169 residents who have been told to self-isolate through test and trace.
EDDC has also spent £96,500 helping hundreds of people through the Covid-19 Hardship Fund, helping residents with utilities bills and food vouchers.
The authority has not only been helping individuals but also community groups who are providing invaluable support to residents.
EDDC has handed out more than £40,000 to more than 26 community groups through its Coronavirus Community Food Fund and the Covid-19 Fund - a joint scheme with Devon County Council which has now re-opened to new applications.
All of this has been made possible thanks to funding provided to the council by the Government and Devon County Council.
Councillor Jess Bailey, East Devon District Council Portfolio Holder for Corporate Services and Covid-19 Response, said:
We recognise its a hugely difficult time and we really want to help support our residents in any way we can."
Below is a list of all grants available to East Devon residents who are struggling:
Test and Trace Payments, for those told to self-isolate:
Since October 2020, the council has had a total of 290 applications and approved 169 cases.
In total EDDC has paid out £38,000 as to 76 applicants through the discretionary scheme and £46,500 to 93 people through the standard scheme.
A £500.00 payment can be made if you:
- Have been told to isolate by NHS Test & Trace and
- Are employed or self-employed and
- Are unable to work from home and
- Will lose income as a result of being instructed to isolate and
- Are in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits:
- Universal Credit- Working Tax Credits
- Income related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income Support- Pension Credit
A discretionary scheme is also available however due to very limited funds extra criteria does apply. To find out more about your eligibility and how to apply visit www.eastdevon.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/test-and-trace-support-payment/test-trace-support-payment/
Covid-19 Hardship Fund:
The Covid hardship fund is for anyone who is struggling to pay for food or utilities even if they have not directly been affected by Covid.
Since May 2020, the council has approved 346 applications for 315 different residents.
This included 306 food vouchers, 93 grants to help people pay for their electricity and gas bills, one application for help with travel costs and 15 people who were referred to a foodbank.
Applications can be made by completing a financial hardship form. Funds will normally be paid via voucher or top up directly to utility accounts.
To find out more about your eligibility and how to apply visit www.eastdevon.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/benefits-and-council-tax/information-financial-hardship-fund/
To make an application for the fund visit www.eastdevon.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/benefits-and-council-tax/request-financial-support-coronavirus-covid-19/
Council Tax Exceptional hardship fund:
A payment out of the Exceptional Hardship fund is considered for anyone who is receiving council tax reduction (CTR) and who is still struggling to pay the remainder of their council tax bill.
Residents will need to complete an income and expenditure form. One off payments or weekly on-going awards can be made and will go directly to the council tax account.
To find out more about your eligibility and how to apply for an Exceptional Hardship Fund payment visit www.eastdevon.gov.uk/benefits-and-support/council-tax-reduction/apply-for-an-exceptional-hardship-fund-payment/
Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP):
This is for anyone who is in receipt of housing benefit (HB) or universal credit (UC) housing costs who cannot afford the shortfall in their rent.
The aim of a DHP is to help protect tenancies or financially help out on a temporary basis whilst a solution to the underlying need is found/being put into place.
This can be anything from downsizing or finding cheaper accommodation to debt advice or income maximisation.
Here are a few examples of where a DHP will be considered:
- Reductions in HB or UC where the benefit cap has been applied
- Reductions in HB or UC due to the removal of the spare room subsidy (size criteria)
- Rent shortfalls to prevent a household becoming homeless whilst the housing authority explores alternative options
To find out more about your eligibility and how to apply for a DHP visit www.eastdevon.gov.uk/benefits-and-support/housing-benefit/housing-benefit-forms/apply-for-a-discretionary-housing-payment/
Other Help available:
If we are not able to make a financial award from one of the funds mentioned above we could still help through highlighting ways income could be maximised and expenses reduced.
We can also refer or signpost into relevant agencies, organisations or external schemes that are best placed to help with individual needs.
Further recovery action for unpaid debts such as council tax arrears or housing benefit overpayments could be held as long as we are aware of the situation or that further work is being carried out.
To let us know about any help that may be needed use the financial hardship form available at www.eastdevon.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/benefits-and-council-tax/request-financial-support-coronavirus-covid-19/
Coronavirus Community Food Fund:
Grants of between £500 and £2,500 are available. Applications are accepted from constituted and not-for-private-profit voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector groups and organisations, town and parish councils, charities, or a combination of such groups working together.
The Covid-19 Fund is a joint grants scheme between Devon Council Council and EDDC that aims to support community-led schemes that carry out the small but important things that can safely address some of the issues arising because of the current Coronavirus restrictions, including support for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
It provides small grants of between £300 and £700, grants may be given for higher amounts for exceptional projects.
To find out more, see previous projects that were funded, and apply visit https://eastdevon.gov.uk/grants-and-funding/grants-available-from-us/covid-19-prompt-action-fund/
Crowdfund East Devon:
East Devon District Council has grants available through crowdfunding. You can not only apply for up to £10,000 of the £100,000 of funding available from EDDC for East Devon projects, but also for a large amount of county-wide funding available from Devon County Council and from Devon and Cornwall Police. At the same time you can apply for grants from national pots that are present on Crowdfunder UK and attract other funding from the local community.
Coronavirus related campaigns/projects that meet the eligibility criteria are welcome to apply. To find out more visit https://eastdevon.gov.uk/grants-and-funding/grants-available-from-us/crowdfunding/
EDDC has also created a Coronavirus Community Support Hub to provide residents with the latest information and help available.
We also have a dedicated team who can help if you are feeling isolated, unable to access food or other services or are not sure on where to go for help and advice. Visit www.eastdevon.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19 or call on our special helpline on 01395 571500.